Archive for February, 2013

Risen!

Key Verse: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”

(Romans 5:8)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Because we are Christians we have Christ-like actions

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 6:43-45) Jesus uses a metaphor about trees to explain how we naturally have Christ-like actions. Good trees bear good fruit while bad trees bear bad fruit. The comparison that Jesus uses is between fruit trees and thorns, not good fruit trees and bad fruit trees. It is the kind of tree that makes the difference. When we have our identity in Christ, we naturally produce Christ-like actions. When we do not have our identity in Christ it is impossible to produce Christ-like actions, even though we can still do good deeds.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk with your children about the kinds of actions that we have as a result of being a follower of Christ. You might focus on how a person treats others or how someone acts when no one is watching. Then share areas in your life where your actions are the result of being a Christian.  Encourage family members to think about one area in their lives that changed as a result of following Jesus.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
One night this week, have a fantastic dessert full of fruit! Serve strawberry shortcake, pineapple upside-down cake, and apple pie. Or if you have no time to bake, instead serve a simple variety of plain fruit. Cut up apples, bananas, and oranges, and serve the pieces with a fresh yogurt dip. As you enjoy your dessert, go around the table and let each person tell one way he or she has seen someone in the family bear good fruit during the week. Then pray together, thanking God for helping each person in his garden bear fruit for him.

Love

Key Verse:
“Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Our lives should focus on what’s important to God.

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 6:27-38) This passage is a continuation of the sermon Jesus was giving his disciples. Here we see Jesus telling them to act in a way that is not a natural human action, he tells us to love our enemies. Jesus was not saying that we need to be best friends with our enemies, but we should treat them as a merciful God would. We need to act in a way that would please our enemies. Loving those that love us is very easy to do, but it is important to not only love what God loves, but love how God loves.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Tell a true story of a time you were surprised by an act of kindness. Talk about how that act of kindness affected you or how it changed you in some way. Then, as a family, think of someone you can surprise with an unexpected display of kindness. Maybe you can pay for someone’s dinner unexpectedly, or maybe you can help someone with yardwork.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
This week as you talk to your child(ren), find out if they have a friend or acquaintance that has not been nice to them. Talk about what do you think God wants them to do about the situation. Make a plan on how you can show “love” to this person. In some cases (bullying) it may be difficult or be wise to leave the situation alone, but there are other opportunities that God will provide to live this out. After the plan is completed, talk about the results and how showing love is the best plan of action. An action that God lives out with us every day. 

 

Love

Key Verse:
“Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Our lives should focus on what’s important to God.

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 6:17-26) Jesus continued to teach and heal people wherever he went. The sermon that we read in this passage was for his disciples. It wasn’t just for the twelve, it was for the large crowd that we see described in verse 17. Blessed could be translated as happy, so Jesus is saying that they can have an inner quality of life that does not depend on material things. There is a certain joy that we get from God that no one can take away.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Tell about a time you didn’t put God first in a situation. What happened? What was the outcome? After you share with your family members, have them each tell about a time they did something similar. Then discuss what things get in the way of your family relationships and your relationships with God. When you’ve discussed your ideas, brainstorm ways to make sure you give God the priority he deserves.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Talk with your child about how prayer is a great way to help focus our minds on the things of God. Look through magazines together and let your child point out pictures of times you could pray, such as lying in bed, eating a meal, or riding in a car. Cut out the pictures and make a prayer collage as a reminder to your child that we can think about God anytime and anywhere.

Love

Key Verse:
“Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus deserves our love and gratitude.

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 9:28-36) The event in this passage is called the Transfiguration, which means “to change in another form”. Here we see Jesus with three of his disciples on top of a mountain. Jesus likely took three because for a story to be reliable you needed multiple witnesses (at least two or three). What happened next was a supernatural event, where Jesus’ face and clothes were as brilliant as a flash of lighting. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus and began to talk with Jesus. They discussed the purpose Jesus had which would be fulfilled on the cross. It seems as if Peter wanted them to stay, as he tells them he will provide three shelters for them. However, a cloud suddenly covered them and they heard the voice of God say to them, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” When the cloud disappeared they saw only Jesus there standing alone. 

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Share a “God Sighting” with your family—explain how you’ve seen God working in your life recently. Encourage your family members to be on the lookout for God Sightings each day this week. Every evening at a special time, have them share places they recognized God at work in their lives. God Sightings can be as simple as seeing a beautiful sunset or finding a new friend. Come up with a phrase you and your family members can use when you have God Sightings. This could be something as simple as “I see God!” or “God’s here!” Help family members discover and learn to recognize that God is constantly at work in their lives.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Have your child help you make picture frames. You’ll need rope licorice and large marshmallows. Use four strips of licorice to form a square frame by sticking the ends into four marshmallows, one at each corner. Remind your child that frames are often used to show photos of families. Jesus and God are a family because Jesus is God’s Son, just as your child is your son or daughter. Also point out that we are all in God’s family because we believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son.